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Growth-Driven Design: How To Build a Brand that Beckons

by Kim Garmon Hummel

 

Quick! Think of a time you encountered a logo design for a company that offers something you needed and thought:

“Huh? What a weird choice… what does that even mean?” It was a seemingly random concoction of shapes and colors that didn’t say anything about the brand (or if it did, it wasn’t said in a way that resonated with the customer they’re trying to attract: you).

Even big name brands have made these brand strategy fails. Let’s not talk about the craziness of twitter changing their logo from a bird to an X. Birds tweet. What do X’s do…? We’re all shaking our heads about that one. 

Or what about one of the biggest “mall” brands, Gap, who in 2010 redesigned its iconic, yet simple logo to an even more forgettable image and the backlash was, “are we selling jeans or insurance here?”

And then there was the big oops of juice brand Tropicana, who launched a redesign of its orange juice carton packaging in 2009 and the overwhelming sentiment was that they had made their very memorable brand look like a generic store brand offering.

What’s worse is when your company is the brand people are scratching their heads at.

I hope you don’t already know that awful feeling of spending a lot of money on a piece of collateral that flops—like a website page that is supposed to tell your BrandStory but leaves you wondering, “Did these designers even hear a word I said?” Back to the drawing board. AGAIN. 

But if you do already know that feeling and you’ve come here in search of a way to avoid ever experiencing it again, I have great news for you! Building a Brand that Beckons is precisely what this post is all about and exactly why we use Growth-Driven Design to achieve this.

Your company’s brand should be like a magnet that attracts your ideal customers, entices your best-fit candidates for employment, and reinforces your company culture to continuously attract, engage, and WOW customers and employees alike. 

In order to serve up the WOW, you need a dynamic brand backed with a strategic brand identity. Here’s why:

Why You Need A Dynamic Brand

For the sake of clarity, let’s nail down our working definition of branding before we go any further. 

Branding (n): your organization’s tangible and intangible assets that communicate your promise, culture, and value.

The old understanding of building a brand has been put out to pasture with floppy disks and VHS tapes. Instead of thinking of branding as a logo, color package, or other style elements, reimagine your brand as an extension of your promise to your audience—a promise that includes fluid and adaptive experiences.

The digital age has opened opportunities for more companies to embrace an experience-centric approach to their brand which better enables these brands to delight customers, prospects, and employees. Think, ALL the senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, smell. Okay, it’s hard to smell and taste things digitally, so replace those with interactive experiences or highly contextualized personal experiences with your brand.

A dynamic brand is one where your customers and employees feel like they are a part of the brand through experiences and interactions-like, the customer service representative knowing their name and order history from the moment they pick up the phone, or new employees receiving a box from their new employer before they even start and it's got swag and their favorite snacks inside. Personalized. Customized. Audience-centric experiences.

Serve Customer-Centric Experiences

It’s your customer’s world—you’re just living in it. Consumers wield more power than ever before because they have more options than ever before, and their expectations have become a guiding force shaping brand success. In the context of the buyer’s market, aligning branding efforts with customer expectations isn't just a strategic choice; it's a necessity for building enduring connections with customers who choose you over your competitors

When you understand and anticipate what customers want, you can tailor your messaging, visuals, and interactions to resonate with your ideal customer. This alignment between branding and customer expectations not only nurtures loyalty but also establishes an authentic bond, which ultimately propels businesses toward sustained growth.

How Growth Driven Design Develops Brands That Attract Your Ideal Audience

Don't think the internal brand experience of employees matters? Think about how the culture of Google, Apple, or Zappos is viewed externally—the creative and unique work environments that came up with “nap pods” and “reporting circles” instead of departments – align with the creative and forward thinking products or experiences consumers expect from those brands.

Dynamic branding is not something that happens organically or by accident. Creating a captivating brand takes strategic planning, and careful cultivation—and that means you need a plan (plus a plan to pivot as your business scales and grows)!

That’s where Growth-Driven Design (GDD) comes in. GDD provides a framework that helps you plan and execute your branding strategy.

Wait, Growth-Driven Brand Design?

You read that right. Most people who know Growth-Driven Design relegate the approach exclusively to website design, but at Sauce we view it as a cross-functional methodology that you can leverage in every aspect of business development—even branding.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Growth-Driven Design methodology, this crash course will get you up to speed.

As a company embraces its branding as a living, breathing entity, it must also accept that just like every other part of the business, the brand must evolve–which is why GDD is such a great fit to build a brand that beckons. 

GDD embodies the philosophy that a brand should be a perpetual work in progress, always adapting and refining. At its core, GDD encompasses 4 essential elements: 

  1. MVPs (minimum viable products, sometimes called “base-line plans” or “launch pads”) that expedite the initial launch
  2. Research that delves deep into user behaviors and preferences 
  3. Data-driven decisions that guide strategic choices 
  4. A continuous loop of applying feedback through iterative enhancements 

These elements form GDD’s commitment to relentless improvement. Adopting this mindset will steer your brand toward a future where evolving growth is not just a goal, but a way of life.

Beyond the Basics: Implementing GDD to Build A Brand That Beckons

Understanding Your Ideal Audience

Crafting a comprehensive branding strategy with GDD starts with what you know about your audience based on research, user feedback, and any real-user data you have available. If you don’t have insights into your target audience, it’s time to start gathering data.

To gain insights into your target customers, start by creating buyer personas, which are a semi-fictional portrayal of your ideal customer. Outline your hypothesis of your current user journey map, drawing from insights provided by your marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Keep in mind that you're establishing an initial comprehension, and as you accumulate more data, you have the opportunity to refine your understanding of your customers and their preferences.

This willingness to apply changes once you have a greater understanding can be difficult if we hold on too tightly to our original concepts of who we thought we were serving and what is valuable to our audience. But like that girl Elsa sings, “Let it go, let it gooooo" and make those refinements of edits based off data, not gut or ego.

Data-Driven Brand Evolution

Data analytics serves as a powerful compass guiding brand adjustments over time. By meticulously analyzing customer behavior, engagement metrics, and market trends, you can gain a nuanced understanding of your audience's preferences and evolving needs. This approach not only minimizes the guesswork but also maximizes the effectiveness of campaigns by targeting the right audience with precision.

Analyzing data and metrics can't happen with those gut instincts or anecdotal experiences. We're too flawed and biased to be able to truly analyze objectively and consistently without tools that collect data with impartiality. Leveraging tools like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, analytics tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SemRush, and Lucky Orange, you’ll get a tech stack that provides rich data you can then apply toward your branding strategy. 

With data as the compass, brands can navigate shifts in consumer sentiment, refine your strategies, and ensure you remain relevant and impactful in a dynamic market landscape.

Iterative Brand Improvements: Research, Review, and Repeat

Implementing Growth Driven Design is a cycle of perpetual testing and refinement within branding campaigns. Brand strategies are not static, but evolve in response to real-time data and insights. With the right data analytics tools in place, you have consistent testing of various elements within branding campaigns, such as messaging, visuals, and audience targeting. 

GDD ensures that adjustments are informed by empirical evidence rather than assumptions (or ego). This approach is reinforced by vigilant monitoring of performance metrics, which reveals what your audience resonates with and what requires optimization. By closely observing these metrics and being prepared to adapt, GDD empowers brands to fine-tune your strategies for impact. 

Create A Better Brand With Growth Driven Design & Sauce Agency

Building a dynamic brand is critical to scaling your growth. And just as important is knowing when it’s time to rebrand. That’s why when Sauce Marketing merged with The Selling Agency, we emerged with a new brand for Sauce Agency. The new brand represents the cutting edge approach to our combined forces, plus the new service offerings of RevOps Optimization (for our clients AND employees). 

As you’d expect, we’re obsessive about typeface, stylebooks, and graphic design. But we’re just as meticulous about understanding your ideal audience, interpreting and applying real user data to enhance your branding strategy, and creating a brand experience that your customers find irresistible. 

When it comes to brands that beckon, we don’t just talk the talk—we walk the walk. Just like Growth Driven Design equips businesses with a dynamic framework that fosters agility and responsiveness, Team Sauce helps B2B organizations stay competitive in an ever-changing market landscape. If you’re ready to build a Brand That Beckons to your ideal customer, let’s talk.

Ready to #GrowSmarter and #ScaleFaster? Schedule a connect call with one of our Growth Guides today!

Are you ready to #GrowSmarter? Schedule a risk-free call with a Growth Guide today!

 

Topics:BrandingCustomer ExperienceCompany CultureEmployee ExperienceBrands That BeckonData That Drives

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